'The Druid Stone' : Passage Tomb

TownlandMagheraboy
CountyAntrim
Grid RefD 037 438
GPSD 03699 43788 (5m)
Longitude6° 22' 11.9" W
Latitude55° 13' 48.78" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBushmills (10 Km)
OS Sheet5
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 18th February 2007

Despite being interupted by a field wall this site is very nice. The remains of the chamber are small, but in good condition. A single split-boulder capstone rests on three orthostats about 1m tall. There are two more orthostats in front of the chamber, which faces roughly north.

The tomb is situated so that its viewshed falls to the northwest past Benbane Head beyond which lies the Giant's Causeway. The view to Rathlin Island, which lies to the northeast, is obscured by an intervening hill. Knocklayd Mountain to the south is also surprisingly out of sight.

The field wall that runs on a north-south line to the 2m east of the chamber truncates the kerb on that side. Around the west side the kerb is still visible and pokes through the grass by about 30cm.

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

A barrow is essentially a mound of earth over one or more burials. They are more usually to be dated to the Bronze Age. There are many forms of barrow including ring, bowl, long and bell barrows.

Ring barrows are formed by digging a circular trench or fosse around a central burial, with no mound.

Bowl barrows are formed by heaping up soil over the burial(s) from a surrounding fosse, these often have an external bank too (see Ballyremon Commons (County Wicklow)).

Bell barows are simply round mounds with no fosse or external bank.

Long barrows are rare in Ireland and are more common in southwest England. Their shape is basically ovoid rather than round (see Ballynoe (County Down))

A kerb is a ring of stones placed around the perimeter of a burial mound or cairn. It basically serves the purpose of a retaining wall to keep the cairn or earth in place. Kerbs are usually associated with passage tombs, but do occur on court tombs and wedge tombs too.

Sometimes on passage tombs the stones can bear decoration, such as at Newgrange (County Meath).

Like this monument

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A Selection of Other Passage Tombs

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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